Monday, February 26, 2007

Time Traveller

I have always been fascinated by the idea of time travel*. From Tom's Midnight Garden as a child to The Time Traveller's Wife this last year, I sigh over the possibilities and fret over the paradoxes.

Today, I came across an online book-in-progress Calling Project Hermes, about someone who gets sent through time in 2014, only to land back in 2005, only it's not 2005 as we know it, but a parallel version. I'll be watching the book unfold over the coming months.

I like to be prepared, so in the event of Bill and Ted turning up with the phone booth I keep a list of places/times/events in need of minor adjustment.

1. Lie in wait for the postman outside the house of My First Crush, to whom I sent a love letter after a school trip to France aged 11, and intercept it. Thus saving myself abject humiliation when he showed it to the entire class.

2. Leave a copy of Bluffer's Guide to Snogging by the bedside of my 12-year-old self so that I don't flee for the toilets when My First Boyfriend tries to kiss me during How Deep Is Your Love? at the end of the school disco, thus delaying our 'going out' by a full 9 months, before he plucked up the courage to try again, and I had some lessons on the back of my hand from a friend.

3. Fire bomb the hairdressing salon, where I had the first of a series of disastrous perms in my teens which ended up more like Kevin Keegan, than Kelly from Charlie's Angels.

4. Put away the beautiful vinyl Beatles singles with apples in the centre that represented the best music I have ever owned, or am likely to own, instead of playing them in stacks on the rickety portable record player with the dodgy needles and leaving them in the sun to bake.

5. Put a mattress at the bottom of the conker tree in our garden so that when I fall out aged 9, trying to prise unripe conkers from their shells, with a carving knife borrowed from the kitchen, I don't part-sever my thumb.

6. Confiscate the Gauloise I accept from a French Boy on the aforementioned trip and save myself 18 years of smoking. On second thoughts, after confiscating it, go forward and pop it in my handbag on my 18th birthday, otherwise the Zippo my boyfriend gives me will go to waste.

7. Hide the loft ladder, so that my 27-year-old self can't stash my beautiful pool cue out of sight to gather dust for the next 15 years.

8. Video the late Grandmother Duck making the world's best mushy peas, so that I can recreate the magic for the Little Ducks.

9. Lend myself money in 1983, so that I put more than a fiver on Corbieres in the National.

10. Keep this spot free for future inspiration. Any ideas welcome.

*With the one exception of the really rubbish effort by Christopher Reeve in Superman the movie, rewinding the world to save Lois after the earthquake. No, no, no, no, no.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Fugly has just been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. I kid you not. No doubt Twunt will be next.

On that basis I would like to submit the following from the Duck Family Dictionary:

Jim Bobs - n. pyjamas - partic. Happy Feet, Spiderman, Harry Potter, Glow-in-The-Dark Skeleton. (der. 4th male Walton child from US TV series). See also Pyjamaramas, Jimbly Bobs, Peejah Weejahs, Pajumbah Wumbahs.

Niddle - n. navel or belly button - as in the war cry 'Niddle in the Middle of your Tum' followed by large raspberry, blown into said niddle.

Tommy Nod - n. contents of the corners of your eyes, to be rubbed away each morning. orig. school friend of Duck c 1977.

Snippy - n. Sticky-out piece of nail (toe or finger) requiring delicate surgical removal with nail clippers, healed with a kiss.

Doo - v. As in Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Doo orig. Tiddler (when challenged to a game of 'What Rhymes with Poo?' by JP).

I'll let you know when I hear anything.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Every Little Thing

To celebrate the recently announced World Tour, let's hear it for Linus doing my favourite Police song.

Click the play button on the bottom left of the picture to play.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Dash and George

Most weekends are spent ferrying JP and Tiddler to and from birthday parties at Wacky Warehouse, Captain Coconut's, Little Rascals (or Dirty Rascals as Tiddler refers to it), Megabowl and Ski Rossendale - the premiership party venues for this particular corner of East Lancs.

Some part of each Friday is spent in mild panic - do we need boy or girl presents/cards/paper this weekend? And this is after we've figured out the acceptable level of expenditure for 4/5/6/7 year olds' presents. This is dangerous territory - not least because I haven't the slightest notion of what to buy for girls, never having been a real one myself*.

Anyway. Over time, I believe I have hit on the right formula and sleep easy in my bed knowing that JP isn't going to be ostracised over an over-budget Lego Inika Hero or under-budget Polly Pocket Camper Van.

This week, the whole birthday plan thing came apart at the seams when the Little Ducks were invited to a first birthday party for two guinea pigs - pass the parcel, bring your own pets.

Now. Do I really take JP's menagerie - and risk the strange glances that will surely come our way? Probably not.**

What about gifts? cards? Do I suffer disappointed faces from the guines pigs' owners if there's no gift or risk the parents phoning the funny farm if we bring something.

I settle for sunflower seeds and a large carrot wrapped up to look like a Christmas cracker, with no card, but not wrapped in edible rice paper (OTT) and hope for the best.

* I'm not a post-op transsexual, nor Pinocchio's sister - just a tomboy, in case you were wondering.

** Update. The triops are now 2-3 mm long and the grass needs mowing. The ants have built a conservatory, put block paving on the drive and joined the pub quiz team.

Monday, February 12, 2007


This half-term I shall be scouring the school grounds for magic mushrooms, or whatever it is that Stern Teacher is putting into Tiddler's tea.

When he's not singing, or in search of Scooby Doo, he generally joins us in bed in the morning for (largely incomprehensible) chats about life, the universe and under 5's football.

The latest was an explanation of how Reception class works. According to Tiddler, Stern Teacher is the 'Master Teacher' and the other teachers are the 'elves'. I'm not certain which is the more disconcerting. School as the North Pole, carving out toys for deserving children or school as 1930's Germany, carving out a new world order.

Our policy generally is to nod sagely and say 'okaaaay' in a slightly bewildered fashion.

On this occasion it seemed to fit the bill admirably.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Possessed II -

Do not adjust your set - you have not wandered aimlessly into an old post.

The demon has returned.

Neighbour One knocked on yesterday evening to inform me that when he went outside to defrost his car at 5.45am, my car engine was running with no-one in attendance. Given last year's icy theft, he thought this was strange, and doubly so as our house was still shrouded in darkness. He went back inside his own house and exited 20 minutes later to go to work. The car engine had stopped. The car was still completely covered in frost....

The breathalyser result being negative, I considered my options:

1. Send immediately for an ambulance and break the news to Mrs. Neighbour One that he's as mad as an egg, thus jeopardising a long friendship.

2. Lie and say yes, I am the kind of idiot who would leave a car running, when it's taken nearly a year to resolve the theft of the last one - but neighbourly relations remain intact.

3. Promise to ring Renault and ask if there are any circumstances under which the car could decide, under its own steam that it's a nippy morning and things would be a lot more comfortable under the bonnet if the engine was warm.


Update - I shall be taking my car purchasing business elsewhere in future.

Further Update - Spencer is still safely buried in the garden.

Monday, February 05, 2007


'The first pint is the best'

- claimed a woman in the Local Pub yesterday. I nodded in assent - remarking that the fifth and sixth weren't bad either. But is she right? After a sleepless night and in the interests of science, tonight I shall be conducting an experiment to prove or disprove her claim.

Is the first pint indeed the best, or can subsequent draughts lay claim to #1 spot? For the purposes of the experiment Ken Barlows* will not be judged.

Assisting me will be Amazing Dave and Bli Guinness.** Each pint consumed will be given due consideration and votes cast.

Next week: 'The first cut is the deepest' - or is it?

** not his real name

Thursday, February 01, 2007

All Change

The Pink Palace is no longer Pink!

Not shocking Pink, not rose Pink and not even whitewithahintofPink.

Is this the death of alliteration as we know it?

Can I bear to get my nails done in the Whitewithahintofcream Palace?*

Evil days indeed.

* Update: Yes I can. This week I will mostly be wearing House Red nails with black tulips.